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The college experience: More than just a degree

The college experience: More than just a degree

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Happy young multiracial group of young university students studying

College is about much more than earning a degree. You will be learning skills that are essential to your success past college and making lifelong memories.

College is a time to learn, but it is also a time of growth. Here are five must-have experiences you should enjoy and five must-have skills you should develop before graduation day. These experiences will not only enrich your college experience, but will serve as lessons you will take with you, helping you long after you’ve graduated.

Five must-have experiences

1. Reading as much as possible

Anything. All the time.

2. Volunteering

Volunteer experience does look good on a resume, but it also is about being a part of something that is bigger than yourself. Find a cause you care about and give back.

3. Getting work experience

Jobs teach responsibility. They provide us with an income and show us that we can collaborate with people of all different backgrounds and personalities.

4. Taking at least one class just because

Because you’ve always been interested in modern architecture, because you wouldn’t mind knowing a bit more about drawing, because the astronomy class takes a field trip into the desert in November and it sounds awesome. Just because.

5. Studying abroad (if possible)

It combines travel with studying. And there is almost always a way to obtain at least a few course credits for it, if not an entire semester.

Five must-have skills

No matter what you majored in, some skills are universal.

1. Strong people skills

No matter what your profession, you will need to network to be successful. 

2. Understanding how you work best

This allows you to create an effective routine so you can easily set and achieve your goals.

3. Learning how to make your money work for you

Know how to set up and stick to a budget. This might seem like an easy task, but it will help you understand financial language, as well as the options available to you later on when you want to buy a car or a home.

4. Figuring out what your personal brand is

Companies are constantly screening prospective employees. How do you want to look? Google yourself and see what pops up. This is what companies see.

5. Incidental technical skills

Photo editing might not be particularly relevant to your career field, but it comes in handy in many jobs. You’ll appreciate it in your personal life as well. Soak up the opportunity to diversify.

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